EDP Renewables, Volt and Microsoft sign PPA for 100MWac Illinois solar project – PV Tech

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EDP Renewables North America (EDPR NA) described this deal as “an environmental justice PPA,” which aims to deliver some of the benefits of clean energy investments to rural and urban communities that are “disproportionately impacted by environmental injustices”.

As part of this deal, the solar project will commit funds to the Sharing the Power Foundation, an initiative developed by Volt and Microsoft in the wake of the signing of a PPA in 2021, which aims to raise funds for clean energy investments and support education programmes for students from underrepresented groups and diverse backgrounds.

“We are excited to continue our work with Microsoft and partner with EDPR NA for the first time to address environmental injustice, invest in clean energy infrastructure and facilitate clean energy and sustainability business pathways for minority-owned entrepreneurs and small businesses, as well as students looking to start a career,” said Gilbert Campbell, foundation board chair for the Sharing the Power Foundation and founder and CEO of Volt Energy Utility.

The deal is Microsoft’s latest investment into the renewable power sector, as it looks to decarbonise its operations. The company plans to meet all of its energy demand with power from renewable sources by 2025, and by August 2023, it had signed PPAs for over 13.5GW of clean energy capacity.

Given the considerable energy demand generated by data centres, other technology companies are making similar moves. Last April, Google signed a PPA with EDPR NA to acquire power from a 650MWp solar portfolio in the US.

The news is also the latest positive development for the Illinois solar sector, which had 2.7GW of capacity installed as of the end of 2023, according to the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The body expects Illinois to add 6.6GW of new capacity over the next five years, the tenth-most among US states.

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